Marye Lobb
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Marye Lobb


Band Folk World


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New York City is a creative hub for artists trying to make their way and live the dream. Every once in a while you meet someone who sticks out – not for being outlandish or different, but for being themselves and doing what they love.
I met Marye Lobb a year or so ago at an art opening at the Leslie/Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (well, I actually met her friend first, and then was introduced to her). We stayed connected and as time has now proven we came together to collaborate – her sharing her music and me interviewing and writing about her.
Marye is an international singer-songwriter who fuses her influences of South American music and Buddhist and Quaker ideals into a folk, Bossa Nova, poetic mix of personal growth and passion.
Born in the Midwest and raised in Rochester, NY, Marye has traveled far for her 29 years having been to Ireland, Norway, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. She put herself through school at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and upon graduating released her first album in 2008, “Finding Home,” which reflects her journeys abroad.
With her home base in New York City, Marye spends her time teaching music, writing and performing and now, finishing up her second album, which is at the time of this posting, unnamed.
“My guitar and I have been making songs about love, sexuality, the state of the world, establishing one’s sense of self,” she wrote on her Indiegogo website.
Marye has played at La Zarza a restaurant in the East Village, Sullivan Hall, the French Institute in Midtown, Nuyorican Poets Café and Arlene’s Grocery, just to name a few.
I caught up with Marye in Chelsea’s Moonstruck Diner after a shift at her day job. Here she talks about her process as an artist and how she found her home in Bossa Nova music.
How’s the new album coming?
We just finished recording. We are going to start mixing.
Are you involved in that process?
Yeah. I like to be involved in everything. I will be giving notes for editing and giving my two cents for the mixing process.
How many instruments are on the album?
I play guitar and sing and did all the harmonies. We had a bass player who also plays accordian and then a cello player. She was amazing and is from Vancouver- Marie Kim. Jorge Saenz plays bass and accordion and is also co-producing the album. Carmen Estevez plays cajon, a percussion instrument. I didn’t use a drum set, I used Latin percussion. I don’t really care for a full drum set. She is from Spain and is a character and a half. Amon is the recording and mixing engineer and plays congas. And then Raymond Sinsay, he plays guitar, mandolin and also sang. Jorge and I have been friends for seven years and we went to school together. I met Carmen through a guitar player I used to play with.
How did the recording go?
Every day I got up to go to the studio I was almost in tears of how thankful and joyful I was, just so happy. I was like dreaming (laughs). It was so fun.
How long did the process take?
It was five different sessions and they were four hours each. The first one we did seven songs and that was just me and my guitar. We did it pretty much live, I guess we did half the album live. For my last album and most albums today, people lay down the drums and the bass and the piano and the guitar and then the vocals, which makes it flawless, but back in the old days they just got in the studio and recorded together. I recorded my voice and guitar together. In the second session, we did three of my songs and two of my songs Ray and I did together. Then in the third session we did bass and we did the accordion and then we did the cajon on the fourth and then the background session and congas the last session. Mixing will take, like, 20 hours.
What happens after mixing is done?
Then it goes on to be mastered, which is another techie engineering thing. People refer to it as putting the cake into the oven.
Did you go through the same process for ‘Finding Home’?
When do you think the album will be released?
I’m hoping at the end of the month. Just in time for Christmas. I’m also working with a friend of mine who is doing the graphic design [for the CD case] and my friend, Alexandra Meske, took a bunch of photos over the summer and we’re using those.
Did you fundraise the entire album?
I saved a lot of the money personally and then raised $1,300. It’s exciting.
When you are done, how are you going to market? You are planning to tour, right?
Yeah and I hope to also get the word out online. And from the tour do videos and post them on YouTube and create a digital experience. I’m just trying to get my name out there as much as I can.
How did you decide where you are going to go? Is it because you know people?
Yes. I will drive to North Carolina and then I will take a bus to Washington D.C. and then fly to L.A. and then fly to Seattle. All those places I have people. This is my first real tour, I did some touring in South America in 2008 when I finished my first album. - 14 Karat Living

Marye Lobb may be releasing a second album of songs inspired in part by her world travels, but the indie singer-songwriter recalls early musical memories focused on more domestic journeys. As a child growing up in Rochester, New York, Lobb looked forward to trips to the City of Falls Church to visit her family, and often composed little ditties about the excursion to sing in the car to pass the time.
"I always remember singing, and making up songs, all the time," Lobb said.
She was a musical child - "My Mom always says that I would sing before I could talk," Lobb said - who sang in choirs in her youth, but didn't study formally. When she went to college, she chose to pursue social work, but a study abroad experience in South America would change her career path.
"When I moved there, that was kind of when everything opened up for me, music-wise," Lobb said.
She joined a choir and started playing guitar while living in Chile, and immersed herself in a new musical culture, discovering new singers and sounds and learning Chilean folk songs.
"In South America, it's just music is a way of life - it's like you breath, you eat, you sleep, you sing, you make music, and everyone is a part of it, and it is such a huge part of their culture and their community," Lobb said.
She returned, and spent a year living in New York City. She worked at a non-profit that helped the homeless and as a translator, but was also performing at open mics and becoming part of the musical community there. It was then that she applied for music school, and enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2005.
Though she struggled in the technical classes, she shined in performance classes. She learned and heard more Latin American music there and, exposed to artists like Brazilian performers Antônio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto, credits the experience with helping her find her sound.
"I felt like as soon as I started listening to that music ... I was like, ‘ah, OK, I have my place," Lobb said. "I don't have to be a loud singer, I don't have to be really showy with my voice. I can just communicate what I need to communicate, and it's OK."
She recorded her first album at Berklee, Finding Home, and sought to infuse the Latin rhythms she had learned in school into its songs.
She graduated Berklee and returned to New York City in the summer of 2008. That same summer, she embarked upon a small tour and released Finding Home. It wasn't the social work career she set out pursuing when she first enrolled in college, but to the artist, making music isn't far from it.
"I see music as a form of social service," Lobb said. "I want to help people with these songs."
Lobb still lives in New York City, making and performing her music while working as a music teacher, but will be returning to the Northern Virginia area for a solo acoustic performance at The Birchmere March 2 opening for the David Bromberg Big Band - an honor, Lobb says.
The Birchmere gig will launch a tour with East and West Coast performances for her album, Not at War. The latest release will be available at her Birchmere show, and a digital copy can be purchased at her website, but the album is due out on iTunes and Amazon March 3.
Not at War features the delicate vocals, folk sounds and Latin rhythms found on her first release, again slipping casually from Spanish to English in delivering songs about love, peace and life's experiences. Her journeys still play a role in her music, but this time around the role is different.
She says a friend described it best - her first album is about finding a home when living in many different cultures, but the second is about finding a home within yourself.
"I feel like that really sums up what this second album is about - being at peace with and proud of who you are," Lobb said.
• For more information about Marye Lobb, visit

Read more at - Falls Church News Press - Berklee Press


1. Finding Home independently released on iTunes 2008
2. NOT AT WAR independently released on iTunes 2012



Indie singer-songwriter Marye Lobb will release her second album: NOT AT WAR on itunes this month bringing her unique mix of folk and Bossa Nova to the digital world. She plays acoustic guitar and sings original songs on “Not At War.” Songs reflecting on love, hope, establishing one’s sense of self, and being at peace with, and proud of, who you are. 
“Don’t let go of your feelings, they are all we have in the end. If you have thoughts that burn your eyes to see them, your heart will soon make amends,” she sings in “Farewell”, the last track on the new album.
If an Alpine lake high in the Chilean Andes had a voice, it would be like Marye Lobb’s, crystalline and cool, intimate yet accessible, with a folk-infused style reminiscent of Judy Collins, seasoned with the flavors of Brazil.  She developed her style during extensive travels, spending a year in Chile and then falling in love with the rhythms of Brazil.
Marye is currently based in New York, where she has performed at Arlene’s Grocery, Rockwood Music Hall, Bitter End, The Cutting Room, Sullivan Hall, Zinc Bar, The French Institute, Nuyorican Poets Café and La Zarza among other venues.  She has also performed in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Boston, Rochester, N.Y., and Burlington, Vt., Winston-Salem, NC as well as cities in Chile, Brazil, and Greece. She recently opened for David Bromberg at the Birchmere Music Hall in Washington, D.C.